The Qur’an on Human Embryonic Development

 

In the Holy Qur’an, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:

We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance…”

(Qur’an 23:12-14)

Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.

In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two, as we can see in figure 1. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others. The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.” This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.

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The third meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.” We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot. This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage (see figure 4). Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week. Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.

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So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage. The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage.

The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage is similar in appearance to a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.” (see figures 5 and 6).

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How could Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have possibly known all this about fourteen hundred years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time? Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)). They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.

Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore was one of the world’s most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human, which has been translated into eight languages. This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person. Dr. Keith Moore is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy. In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences.

In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur’an about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) must have been a messenger of God.”

Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Qur’an is the word of God?” He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.”

During one conference, Professor Moore stated: “….Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah (what Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, did, or approved of). The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge. The intensive studies of the Qur’an and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) companions of what he said, did, or approved of) in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D. Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen’s eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages. As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century. For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Qur’an cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century. The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from God. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.”

 

Scientific Miracles in the Holy Quran

The Qur’an is the literal word of God, which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) through the Angel Gabriel. It was memorized by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , who then dictated it to his Companions. They, in turn, memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it with the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) . Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reviewed the Qur’an with the Angel Gabriel once each year and twice in the last year of his life. From the time the Qur’an was revealed, until this day, there has always been a huge number of Muslims who have memorized all of the Qur’an, letter by letter. Some of them have even been able to memorize all of the Qur’an by the age of ten.

Not one letter of the Qur’an has been changed over the centuries. The Qur’an, which was revealed fourteen centuries ago, mentioned facts only recently discovered or proven by scientists. This proves without doubt that the Qur’an must be the literal word of God, revealed by Him to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , and that the Qur’an was not authored by Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or by any other human being. This also proves that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is truly a prophet sent by God. It is beyond reason that anyone fourteen hundred years ago would have known these facts discovered or proven only recently with advanced equipment and sophisticated scientific methods.

Some examples follow (click to discover more details):

The Qur’an on Human Embryonic Development

The Qur’an on Mountains

The Qur’an on the Origin of the Universe

The Qur’an on the Cerebrum

The Qur’an on Seas and Rivers

The Qur’an on Deep Seas and Internal Waves

The Qur’an on Clouds

Scientists’ Comments on the Scientific Miracles in the Holy Qur’an

 

Source:

A Brief Illustrated Guide To Understanding Islam, 2nd Edition. I.A Ibrahim

Why Islam?

Are all religions the same? How do I know which one is correct? Why should I choose Islam?  The below points discuss the benefits, beauties and unique aspects of Islam.

Close Connection with Your Creator

At the core of Islam is the focus of an individual’s personal relationship with God (Allah), their Creator. It encourages a believer to have sustained awareness of Allah, which is the key to eternal happiness.

Islam teaches that peace comes from Allah. By focusing on this important relationship and following Allah’s guidance, believers will be able to acquire inner peace and tranquillity. Seeking lasting happiness through other means, such as following one’s desires or the accumulation of material possessions, will never fill the void we have. This need can only be filled with the awareness and consciousness of Allah, Our Creator.

True contentment is found in acknowledging and obeying the Creator:

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” Quran 13:28

The primary reason for this close relationship is that Muslims have a direct connection with their Creator. There is no intermediary, such as praying to, or through, others, in worshipping God.

Positive Outlook on Life 

Islam gives a person a clear perspective on the events that happen in their life, both good and bad, as they are, in fact, tests from God. It encourages a person to understand events in the context of the overall purpose of life, which is to acknowledge Allah and obey Him. He created humans with intellect and free will to test them as to who will wilfully choose to follow His guidance. This life is an ultimate testing ground and although we cannot control everything that happens to us, we can control how we react. Islam encourages a person to focus on what is in their control, to be grateful to Allah for blessings, and to be patient during hardships. Patience and gratitude – this is the formula for a happy life.

Islam encourages the believer to remain free from the extremes of worldly happiness that may cause one to forget God, and the extremes of sadness that may cause one to lose hope and blame God. By not being overly attached to the material world, a Muslim is empowered not only to better handle any calamities, but to be beneficial and generous to society. This leads to a more balanced and optimistic outlook on life.

Pure and Clear Concept of God 

Unlike other religions, Islam is not named after its founder or the community of its birth. Islam is an attributive title that signifies obedience and submissiveness to Allah, the Creator of the Universe. One of its main beauties is that it acknowledges the complete Perfection, Greatness and Uniqueness of Allah with absolutely no compromises. This is reflected in Islam’s pure teachings of the attributes of God.

Allah is One and Unique:

•Allah has no partners, no equals and no rivals.

•Allah has no father, mother, sons, daughters or wives.

•Allah Alone is Worthy of all worship.

Allah is the All-Powerful:

•Allah has full authority and power over all things.

•Obedience to Allah does not increase His Power, nor does disobedience decrease His Power.

Allah is the Most High:

•There is nothing above or comparable to Allah.

•The attributes of Allah do not resemble that of His creation.

•No part of Allah is present in anyone or anything.

Allah is Perfect:

•God does not have any human limitations, such as resting on the seventh day after He created the universe.

•God always maintains attributes of perfection and does not do anything to compromise this perfection such as “becoming a man” as claimed by other religions.

Emphasizes Both Evidence and Faith

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Islam is a religion in which faith is based on clear proof. It encourages people to use their God given intelligence to think and ponder over their life and the universe. Although this life is a test, Allah has provided sufficient signs and guidance to people who are open-minded and sincere to be able to acknowledge the truth.

“We have indeed sent down signs that make things manifest: and Allah guides whom He wills to a way that is straight.”  (Quran 24:46)

Unlike other religions, there are many clear proofs, signs and miracles that the book of Islam, The Quran, is from Allah.

The Quran:

•Is free from any errors or contradictions, despite it being revealed over a period of 23 years.

•Is preserved, word-for-word, since it was revealed in its original Arabic language, unlike other scriptures which have been distorted, changed or lost.

•Contains a simple, pure and universal message that has a profound effect on all those who are sincerely searching for the truth.

•Contains a unique and inimitable style of language that is universally known as the pinnacle of Arabic eloquence and linguistic beauty – yet the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was known to be illiterate.

•Contains many amazing scientific facts which have only been discovered recently, despite being revealed over 1400 years ago.

The most rational explanation for the many unique and miraculous aspects of the Quran is that it cannot be from other than God.

 Accountability and Ultimate Justice

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Islam teaches that God is the Most Just and that each person will be held responsible for their own actions on the Day of Judgement. Each person is accountable, as they have freedom of choice and intelligence to discern between right and wrong.

It is an absolute demand of justice that there be a Day of Judgement where every person is rewarded or punished, otherwise life would be unjust as not everyone receives true justice in this world.

Islam teaches that ultimately we will be judged for how well we fulfilled our responsibilities and exercised our free will. We will be judged by Allah, the All Knowing and All Wise, who knows and sees everything we do. This encourages a more harmonious society and gives people contentment knowing that justice will ultimately prevail.

Practical and Balanced Way of Life

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Muslim raising his hand to supplicate to Allah

Islam provides the right balance between faith and action, as both are required for a stable life. It provides guidance for all situations and circumstances. It is a practical religion with practical acts of worship that are designed to fulfil the spiritual, physical, psychological and social needs of people.

Examples of practical acts of worship that have numerous benefits include:

The five daily prayers – Enriches a person by satisfying the spiritual need of being in regular contact with Allah (especially in today’s busy lifestyle); makes one humble by bowing and prostrating to Allah; removes any barriers/pride/racism between believers praying in congregation; helps one refrain from committing sins given the person stands regularly before Allah.

The obligatory charity – Purifies a person from selfishness; encourages empathy to the poor; reminds one of the blessings of Allah; helps reduce poverty; bridges the gap between rich and poor.

The fasting in month of Ramadan – Promotes spiritual self-purification, self-restraint and growth; scientifically proven health benefits; empathy and awareness of those less fortunate; trains people to acquire the habit of obeying Allah.

The pilgrimage (Hajj) – Unites people of every colour, race, status and nationality, as pilgrims wear simple and similar clothing, while performing a range of good deeds in congregation.

Given that Islam is from Allah, every command found in the religion is ultimately good and beneficial to the individual and society when practised correctly. Examples from the Quran include being honest, forgiving, truthful, kind to one’s wife, patient, fair, moderate, modest, sincere, and respecting parents, family and the elderly. There are also many principles in the teachings of Islam that prevent or reduce many of the individual and social ills facing the world today.

Universal and Timeless Message

Islam has a message that applies to all people at all times, from the creation of Adam up until the Day of Judgement. It is applicable today as it always has been.

Allah is accessible to everyone. People may distinguish themselves and earn Allah’s favour through belief and righteous actions only – not through race, wealth, gender, nationality or social class.

Conclusion

Islam’s timeless and beautiful message is the same message of all Prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). They all called their people to “Submit to the One True God” which, in Arabic, means to become a “Muslim”. This submission to God enables one to fulfil the purpose of life by acknowledging the greatness of God and sincerely worshipping Him Alone. In doing so, one will acquire the countless benefits of Islam mentioned above.

 

Source:

Islamic Pamphlets, http://www.islamicpamphlets.com

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Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

Contents:

  1. Who is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?
  2. Mission of Mercy
  3. Forgiveness
  4. Equality
  5. Tolerance
  6. Gentleness
  7. Humbleness
  8. The Ideal Husband
  9. The Ideal Example
  10. Comments from Non-Muslims

Who is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? 

Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the final Prophet in the long chain of Prophets sent by Allah. All the Prophets were sent by Allah in order to call people to obey and worship Allah alone. Some of the other Prophets include Prophet Moses, Abraham, Adam, Jacob, Isaac, Solomon, David, Jesus (peace be upon them).

Just as Moses (peace be upon him) was sent with the Torah ( the original uncorrupted revelation sent to Moses) and Jesus (peace be upon him) was sent with the Gospel (the original, uncorrupted revelation – not the present day versions), Muslims believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent with the Quran to all of humanity.

The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wife, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), was once asked to describe the Prophet (peace be upon him), and she replied that ‘his character was a reflection of the Quran’ (Muslim, 40), meaning he implemented the noble teachings of the Quran into his daily life.

Mission of Mercy

“And We (God) have not sent you (Muhammad) except as a mercy for mankind.” (Qur’an 21:107)

As well as calling people to pray, fast and give charity, the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught that one’s faith in God should also affect one’s treatment of others. He said: “The best of you are they who have the best character.”

Many sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasize the relationship between belief and action, for example: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should not hurt his neighbour, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his guest generously, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak what is good or keep quiet.”

The final Messenger (peace be upon him) taught humans to show mercy and to respect each other: “He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy.”

Forgiveness 

“Let them forgive and overlook: do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 24:22)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most forgiving of all people and the kindest. If someone abused him, he would forgive him, and the harsher a person was, the more patient he would become. He was extremely lenient and forgiving, especially when he had the upper hand and the power to retaliate.

Muhammad (peace be upon him) was all for forgiveness and no amount of crime or aggression against him was too great to be forgiven by him. He was the best example of forgiveness and kindness, as mentioned in the following verse of the Qur’an: “Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Al-Qur’an 7:199)

Equality 

“Indeed the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” (Qur’an 49:13)

In the following sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), he taught that all humans are equal in the sight of God:

“All humanity is from Adam and Adam is from clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a black over a white; except through piety.”

“God does not judge you according to your appearance and your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and looks into your deeds.”

It is related that once a companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) called another companion in an offensive way, “Son of a black woman!” The Prophet (peace be upon him), became angry and replied, “Do you condemn him because of the blackness of his mother? You still have within you traces of ignorance from the pre-Islamic period.”

Tolerance

“Good deeds and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is best, then he with whom you had enmity shall become as a loyal friend.” (Qur’an 41:34)

“You should not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you should deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.” This is how the final Messenger of God (peace be upon him) reacted to personal attacks and abuse.

Islamic sources include a number of instances where the Prophet (peace be upon him) had the opportunity to take revenge upon those who wronged him, but refrained from doing so.

He taught man to exercise patience in the face of adversity: “The strong is not the one who overcomes people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.”

Practising patience and tolerance does not mean that a Muslim should be a passivist and not defend himself in case of attack. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) stated that, “Do not wish to meet the enemy, but when you meet (face) the enemy, be patient (i.e. stand firm when facing the enemy).”

Gentleness

“By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been harsh and hard-hearted, they would have dispersed from around you.” (Qur’an 3:159)

A companion who served Muhammad (peace be upon him) for ten years said that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was always gentle in his dealings with him. “When I did something, he never questioned my manner of doing it; and when I did not do something, he never questioned my failure to do it. He was the friendliest of all men.”

On one occasion, the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him) reacted angrily after being insulted by a person.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised her: “Be gentle and calm, O ‘Aisha, as Allah likes gentleness in all affairs.”

He also said: “Show gentleness! For if gentleness is found in something, it beautifies it, and when it is taken out from anything, it makes it deficient.”

Humbleness

“And the servants of The Most Gracious (God) are those who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: ‘Peace.’ ”Qur’an 25:63

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to prevent people from standing up for him out of respect. He used to sit wherever there was a place available in an assembly and never sought a prominent or elevated place. He never wore anything to distinguish himself from his companions or appear in higher rank than them. He used to mix with the poor and the needy; he used to sit with the elderly and support the widows. People who did not know him could not tell him apart from the rest of the crowd.

Addressing his companions, he said: “Allah has revealed to me, that you must be humble. No one should boast over one another, and no one should oppress another.”

Such was his humbleness that he was fearful of being worshipped, a privilege only befitting God:

“Do not exceed bounds in praising me as the Christians do in praising Jesus, Son of Mary. I am only the Lord’s servant; then call me the Servant of Allah and His Messenger.”

The Ideal Husband

“And live with them (your spouses) in kindness.”Qur’an 4:19

The Prophet’s beloved wife, Aa’isha, said of her noble husband: “He used to repair his shoes, sew or mend his clothes and do what ordinary men did in their houses.”

Not only was he a devoted husband, he also encouraged his companions to follow his example: “The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals. And the best among them are those who are best to their wives.”

The Ideal Example

“Indeed you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.”Qur’an 68:4

What has preceded is only a glimpse of how Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived his life. The examples of kindness and mercy mentioned may come as a surprise to some people given the portrayal of Islam in the media and its constant misrepresentation.

It is important when trying to understand Islam that one goes directly to its sources: The Qur’an, and the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and that anyone does not judge Islam based on the errant actions of a few Muslims.

Comments from Non-Muslims

Mahatma K Gandhi, a major political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, remarked: “It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle.”

George Bernard Shaw, the British playwright, declared: “The world is in dire need of a man with the mind of Muhammad; religious people in the Middle Ages, due to their ignorance and prejudice, had pictured him in a very dark way as they used to consider him the enemy of Christianity. But after looking into the story of this man I found it to be an amazing and a miraculous one, and I came to the conclusion that he was never an enemy of Christianity, and must be called instead the saviour of humanity. In my opinion, if he was to be given control over the world today, he would solve our problems and secure the peace and happiness which the world is longing for.”

Alphonse de Lamartine was a French writer, poet and politician.  This is what he said about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his book “Histoire de la Turquie” (1854):

“As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”

Source:

Islamic Pamphlets